’Idál, 19 Asmá’ (Names), 179 B.E
It’s been a good growing season for both and they’ve taken advantage of one another’s territory!
Another productive weekly call with longstanding colleague, Bill Fulkerson. As a result of our conversation, I proposed a formula: reputation = commitment + responsibility + accountability + acknowledgement. Put into a sentence, reputation is equal to commitments made plus responsibility taken to fulfill those commitments plus accountability for outcomes and consequences plus acknowledgement for what one discovers and learns. Each completed cycle generates value and strengthens one’s reputation. Multiple completed cycles increase the level of trust that future cycles will be similarly completed. In addition, wider audiences see that when one’s attention is held (curiosity piqued!) discovery and learning occurs. As a result, one’s reputation acquires more value in terms of a demonstrated potential for future contributions.
And this is a very important consideration when seeking solutions to complex problems. All that remains is the negotiation over what incentivizes one to devote attention to a particular challenge at hand versus another one competing for one’s attention: Is it money? Benefits? Threats? Force? Or in the emerging Digital Age — is it the thrill of the game and the dopamine rush that comes from success? Or perhaps it’s taking the long view in pursuit of the “Most Great Peace” 1 whereby one is spiritually motivated: “centered upon the oneness of the world of mankind, and every ambition is to render service in the cause of human uplift and betterment.” 2
And to think that was just one topic among many—an amazing call, indeed!
The oneness of the world of humanity shall be realized, accepted and established. When we reflect upon this blessed principle, it will become evident and manifest that it is the healing remedy for all human conditions. All mankind are the servants of the glorious God, our Creator. He has created all. Assuredly He must have loved them equally; otherwise, He would not have created them. He protects all. Assuredly He loves His creatures; otherwise, He would not protect them. He provides for all, proving His love for all without distinction or preference. He manifests His perfect goodness and loving-kindness toward all. He does not punish us for our sins and shortcomings, and we are all immersed in the ocean of His infinite mercy. Inasmuch as God is clement and loving to His children, lenient and merciful toward our shortcomings, why should we be unkind and unforgiving toward each other? As He loves humanity without distinction or preference, why should we not love all? Can we conceive of a plan and policy superior to the divine purpose? Manifestly, we cannot. Therefore, we must strive to do the will of the glorious Lord and emulate His policy of loving all mankind. The wisdom and policy of God are reality and truth, whereas human policy is accidental and limited to our finite understanding. The policy of God is infinite. We must emulate His example. If a soul be ailing and infirm, we must produce remedies; if ignorant, we must provide education; if defective, we must train and perfect that which is lacking; if immature and undeveloped, we must supply the means of attainment to maturity. No soul should be hated, none neglected; nay, rather, their very imperfections should demand greater kindness and tender compassion. Therefore, if we follow the example of the Lord of divinity, we will love all mankind from our hearts, and the means of the unity of the world of humanity will become as evident and manifest to us as the light of the sun. And from our example the light of the love of God will be enkindled among men. For God is love, and all phenomena find source and emanation in that divine current of creation. The love of God haloes all created things. Were it not for the love of God, no animate being would exist. This is clear, manifest vision and truth unless a man is veiled by superstitions and a captive to imaginations, differentiating mankind according to his own estimate, loving some and hating others. Such an attitude is most unworthy and ignoble. 3
“I pray in your behalf that your hearts may be enlightened with the light of the love of God; that your minds may develop daily; that your spirits may become aglow with the fire and illumination of His glad tidings, until these divine foundations may become established throughout the human world. The first of these institutions and foundations is the oneness of humanity and love among mankind. The second is the Most Great Peace. Praise be to God! This American democracy manifests capacity, showing forth readiness to become the standard-bearer of the Most Great Peace. May its hosts be the hosts of the oneness of humanity. May they serve the threshold of God and spread the message of the good pleasure of God.”
ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 67. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/4#673803180[return]
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 353. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/27#246062955 [return]
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 314-315. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/22#593477274 [return]